This year, each elementary school throughout the Oak Ridge Schools district will participate in Foodie Friday. Foodie Friday is made available through a partnership between Oak Ridge Schools Coordinated School Health, food service provider Aramark, and the University of Tennessee Extension Office, a press release said.
Each Friday, volunteers from the UT Extension Office and the Anderson County Health Department prepare healthy samples, provided by Aramark, to sample during elementary school lunch periods. The students talk about the foods, see how it is prepared, and share their thoughts on how they taste, the Oak Ridge Schools release said.
Linden Elementary School is the first school of the year to participate in the program. The students have sampled red peppers, grapes, broccoli, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, and apples. Educational nutritional information is also provided to the teachers and students through the UT Extension office.
Foodie Friday will return after winter break at Glenwood Elementary School starting January 16, Woodland Elementary School on March 6, and Willow Brook Elementary School on April 10.
The press release said UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. It is a statewide educational organization funded by federal, state, and local governments that brings research-based information about agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and resource development to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.
Because Extension emphasizes helping people improve their livelihood where they are located, most Tennesseans have contact with UT Extension through their local county Extension agents found in each of the 95 counties, the release said. Extension agents are supported by area and state faculty as well as by the educational and research resources and activities of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 74 land-grant universities, and 3,150 county units throughout the nation. The stated mission of the system is to help people improve their lives through an educational process that uses scientific knowledge to address issues and needs.